2016 lexus gs450h Model Overview
New for 2016
The 2016 Lexus GS 450h gains a revised exterior design, and two new standard features, LED headlights and navigation with an updated infotainment system. Lexus Safety System+, which is a suite of driver assistance and safety aids, is now available as an option.
The 2016 Lexus GS 450h is the hybrid variant of the Lexus GS sedan and is available exclusively in a rear-wheel-drive configuration.
One powertrain is available in the 2016 GS 450h, a 3.5-liter V-6 mated to two electric motors for a combined output of 338 hp. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is the only gearbox available. For a car with over 300 hp, the GS 450h is surprisingly fuel efficient and is rated at 29/34 mpg city/highway. Trunk space is small at 13.2 cubic feet versus the non-hybrid GS 350 at 14.3 cubic feet. Split-folding rear seats aren’t available due to the extra powertrain components taking up space the back.
In addition to the standard dual front, front-side, and side curtain airbags, the 2016 GS 450h comes with knee airbags for the front occupants and rear-side airbags. The optional Lexus Safety System+ adds lane departure warning, intelligent high beam, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and the Pre-Collision system, which combines forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. Blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert is available as a standalone option.
Trims, Packages, and What’s Standard
Standard features on the base GS 450h include keyless entry/start, dual-zone climate control, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, a moonroof, auto-dimming mirrors, perforated leather upholstery, 10-way power front seats, a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, Siri Eyes Free, a drive mode selector, and Lexus Enform Remote apps for smartphone integration. Optional extras include a head-up display, parking sensors, a 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, ventilated front seats, and blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert.
For maximum performance out of the GS 450h, the F Sport package adds 19-inch alloy wheels, a Sport S+ mode for the drive mode selector, 14-inch front brake rotors, F Sport-tuned adaptive variable suspension, variable gear-ration steering, Dynamic Rear-Wheel Steering, 16-way F Sport driver’s seat, and the F Sport exterior styling kit, which includes a unique front bumper, grille inserts, rear valence, and a rear spoiler.
What We Think
In a 2013 First Test review, we said that the GS 450h delivers flawless acceleration and is well-mannered when the road gets twisty, with little body roll. The car’s un-Lexus-like driving dynamics don’t come at the cost of ride quality because the car doesn’t get overly rough on less-than-perfect roads. However, the CVT, which is clearly tuned with fuel economy in mind, remains a weak point because it detracts from the car’s sporty feel despite the presence of paddle shifters. The GS 450h doesn’t completely isolate its occupants from everything but it’s got just enough insulation to keep exterior noises minimal.
The Lexus GS 450h also won a comparison test that pitted it against the Infiniti Q70 Hybrid and the Porsche Panamera Hybrid because it possesses a nice blend of good driving dynamics, comfort, technology, and fuel economy. While it was slower than the Porsche, the GS 450h is agile and handles well, making it one of the few fun-to-drive hybrids. Additionally, it doesn’t sacrifice fuel economy and comfort for all-out driving fun, turning it into a well-rounded machine that excels at multiple things.
The GS 450h will be the only car with a longitudinally mounted CVT once the Audi A4 bows out for the 2016 model year, replaced by a new 2017 model.
- Comfortable interior
- Handles well despite the additional curb weight
- Great fuel economy
You Won’t Like:
- Compromised trunk space due to hybrid powertrain
- CVT detracts from the car’s sporty demeanor